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June 22, 1984

Cochlear Prosthesis Implantation: Review of the Issues

Author Affiliations

University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston

JAMA. 1984;251(24):3282. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340480064031

Cochlear implants are auditory prostheses designed to stimulate electrically the remaining population of eighth-nerve neurons in the cochlea of profoundly deaf persons.1 Surgical implantation of cochlear prostheses into the inner ear region of deaf patients has moved forward rapidly during the past two years, and, at present, about 500 patients have undergone this procedure. In the simplest terms, the external and implanted components function as a miniaturized transducer that converts sound into an electrical output that stimulates the auditory nerve. The signal is perceived centrally in the brain as a sound that varies with each environmental noise or spoken word. The device helps most adult patients, in that distinguishing environmental sounds and lip-reading ability are improved greatly. The role of cochlear prosthesis implantation in children is less well known and is controversial because of ethical considerations. The implantation procedure is not especially difficult, and the complication rate is low.

Dolan WD:  Cochlear implants , in  Reports for 1982 of the Council on Scientific Affairs of the AMA . Chicago, American Medical Association, 1982, p 85.
House WF, Berliner KI, Eisenberg LS:  Experiences with the cochlear implant in preschool children .  Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 1983;92:587-592.
Miller FJ, Duckert LG, Malone MA, et al:  Cochlear prosthesis: Stimulation-induced damage .  Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 1983;92:599-609.
Berliner KI:  Risk versus benefit in cochlear implantation .  Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 1982;91( (suppl 91) ):90-98.